It is fun to read the various stories of who St. Valentine was and what he did all those years ago. But Valentine’s Day gives us the opportunity to go so much deeper than a legend of a man we know very little about. As believers, we get to take this day so much further than chocolates and hearts. Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to show our kids who is the true lover of our souls, our incredible Savior, Jesus.
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
No one in history has ever shown love equal to what Jesus did for us. But even before He died on our behalf and rose again, conquering death for the rest of eternity, He lived and loved among us in very practical ways. He met needs, fellowshipped with the lowly, forgave the broken, and stood up for the weak. He walked in love everywhere He went, all the way to the Cross.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
When we walk in love, we are shining the light of Jesus. As parents, the most important place to shine that light is right inside our home for our children to see.
Here are some practical ways we can shine the light of God’s love for our children this Valentine’s Day.
1. Read and memorize Scripture together.
Don’t underestimate the power of the Word of God, or the ability even the littlest of kids have to commit it to memory. On this holiday, choose a verse that speaks of God’s love for us like John 3:16 or 1 John 4:19. Another excellent option is Matthew 22:37-39, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” These verses remind us the importance of loving others, and that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about!
2. Pass out cards and treats to show others that we love them.
Take advantage of the traditions of Valentine’s Day and help your kids to create cards and treats to pass out to others. Our family likes to write out a verse on a simple heart and attach it to a bag of sweet homemade treats to pass out to the neighbors. We all go together to each door to personally hand over the gift.
3. Intentionally seek out ways to serve others.
Maybe there is a widow in your church who would love a visit from some sweet kids, or a family you know who’s struggling financially and could use some practical gifts hand-delivered. You could all serve together at the local soup kitchen, or gather up some gently used clothes and coats to take to the local shelter. The options really are endless. No matter what you choose to do to serve others, you and your kids will be acting as the hands and feet of Jesus.
4. Spend time in prayer of thanksgiving for God’s love.
All we have in this life is a gift, an outpouring of God’s love for us, including Jesus the ultimate gift. Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to spend some focused time thanking Him for all He’s done for us. It’s also an opportunity to thank God for the people He’s brought into our lives, and to teach our kids the importance of praying for other people.
Scholars don’t agree on exactly who St. Valentine was or what he did, and that’s ok. We know a story, a true story, the ultimate Love Story to share with our kids on Valentine’s Day and every day!